You will be amazed to see how fast a baby grows! When she starts crawling, you must be so excited and enthusiastic to see her walking. Most parents bring home a baby walker to grab the walking skill or encourage the baby to walk. But what is the right time for a baby to use a walker? Let’s talk about it below.
When can my baby use a walker?
When the baby gains enough strength to hold her head up and keep it stable enough quite effortlessly, and the feet touch the ground when placed in the walker, you can assume your baby is mature enough to use a walker at that time.
You should know that there is no specific age to put the baby in a walker. It’s because every child’s growth milestone is different from one another. Some of them start walking a bit earlier whereas some children might take a little more time, which is very normal. And you don’t need to get worried about it.
But baby walkers are designed for children between 6 months to 16 months old. So, whenever you see the little one is a perfect crawler, you can place her in the infant walker to remove the initial dread of walking and encourage her to walk.
How to choose the right baby walker
Your baby’s safety is your first priority. When choosing a walker for your baby, you need to ensure it is entirely safe. Besides, some criteria will help you find the right walker for your baby. Let’s have a look at those below:
1. Broad base: The base of the walker should be broader than the upper part. It’s because if the baby bumps into the wall accidentally, her little fingers will be safe from getting pinched. On the other hand, the wide base will prevent tipping over.
2. High backrest: The walker should come with a high backrest to support the little one’s back and keep the muscle relax.
3. Big wheel: Large wheels provide extra safety. It rolls nicely on carpet or hard floors. If the wheels are rubber-coated, it keeps the floor safe from scratches.
4. Adjustable wheel: The wheels should be adjustable. When the little one is a beginner, you can loosen the wheels so that she can effortlessly move the walker and make some steps. On the other hand, when she is the master of the walker, you should tighten the wheels to prevent injury.
5. Easy to fold: The walker should be easily foldable. If you have little space in the house, this feature allows you to store it under the bed when not used and also allows you to use it outdoor.
6. Durability: Choose a walker that can withstand the wear and tear of frequent use by looking for models made of sturdy materials.
7. Add-ons: Some walkers come with activity centers that can provide fun and stimulation for your infant.
If you are looking for a baby walker, this amy baby review guide will help you find the best one as per your need.
Advantages of using a baby walker
There are some great advantages of using a walker for your baby. Here are a few:
Keeps the baby engaged
Most baby walkers come full of colorful toys and music. So, it keeps the baby engaged and busy for hours. Besides, it also develops her mental growth and motor skills. On the other hand, you can get done your necessary tasks as the baby remains busy with her favorite toys.
Build leg muscles
When the baby walks with a walker’s help, her body gets a good load that builds the leg and back muscles and makes them stronger.
Baby walkers allow children to explore things around the house. They can easily reach the things that they couldn’t get to without the help of a walker. So, it provides them the mobility and maneuverability without any assistance.
But it has both positive and negative aspects. The children could reach some dangerous objects with the help of an infant walker. So, it is advised to remove those risky things from open spaces and let the baby use the walker under observation.
The baby stops crying for no reason
As they get the new adventurous toy, the moods get improved. They remain so happy to explore new things, play with colorful toys, and listen to music. It keeps them jolly and cheerful. So, there is no time to cry.
Disadvantages of using a baby walker
Here are some disadvantages of a baby walker:
- Baby might love to walk in the walker and get used to it. So, it may delay reaching the walking milestone.
- The natural process is the infant will roll at first, then learn to sit up, after that starts to crawl and, then finally learn to walk. These steps strengthen and develop all the necessary muscles of a baby to stand or walk. So, a walker might hamper normal development.
- Most of the walkers are foldable. If it accidentally folds when the baby is in, she might get injured.
- The little fingers might get pinched if the walker bumps into the wall.
- Children could reach dangerous objects or enter unsafe rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, etc.
- Children could fall down from the stairs or in the swimming pool.
- They can’t sit on the floor, stretch and get up as the movements are limited.
How long can you use a walker?
- Putting a baby in a walker doesn’t mean you allow her to play in it all day long. Orthopedics suggest some key points avoid injuries or harm to the spine of a baby. Here are those:
- You should let the baby use the walker in the daytime when she is full of energy.
- Don’t let her use more than 5 minutes in the beginning.
- Increase the using time slowly by adding 2-3 minutes every day.
- When the baby becomes the master of the walker and can move and turn it nicely, let her use it for a maximum of 40 minutes a day in total. You can divide it into 4 sets of 10 minutes.
- Don’t exceed the time limit to avoid spine injury of your baby.
While introducing a walker to infant, it is vital to take certain precautions to protect the safety of your child. When introducing a baby to a walker, the following are some important safety measures to take:
- Never leave your child unattended with a walker because they can easily fall out or topple over if they are not being properly watched.
- Use the walker on a flat, even surface: Avoid using the walker on uneven surfaces or near stairs, as babies can easily fall and get injured.
- Before each usage, check that the walker is properly assembled and in good condition. Check for any loose parts, missing screws, or other damage that could make the walker unstable or unsafe.
- It is typically suggested that babies should not spend more than 20 minutes at a time in a walker. Long-term use can hinder the acquisition of critical motor skills and increase the baby’s risk of accidents like falls.
- Keep the walker out of dangerous areas like the kitchen and the restroom or laundry room, where there might be hot surfaces or cleaning agents.
- To avoid having your baby’s hands or feet caught in the walker’s mechanism or pinched, always keep them inside the stroller.
- Walkers should not be used as a substitute for other types of play, such as tummy time, crawling, and walking. These activities are critical for the overall development of the baby.
Thanks for reading the full article. Remember, your baby’s safety is your utmost priority. So, whenever you allow the baby to use a walker, always keep an eye on her. It’s not a toy that you put the baby in and keep yourself busy with other tasks. A little bit of your carelessness might cause severe injury to the baby. Therefore, your observation is very much needed when baby plays with a walker.